Schenectady County

Man takes deal, admits murder

Isiah Waters stood on the front porch at 101 Degraff St. and fired nine shots from a .22-caliber saw

Isiah Waters stood on the front porch at 101 Degraff St. and fired nine shots from a .22-caliber sawed-off rifle as Quan Scott tried to flee up the steps to his second-floor apartment.

One bullet struck Scott in the hand and another in the heart, mortally wounding the unarmed 23-year-old. He died a short time later at Ellis Hospital.

Waters, 20, admitted to his role in the June 2007 shooting in Schenectady County Court Tuesday, pleading guilty to a single count of second-degree murder.

Waters now faces 20 years to life in prison when he’s sentenced in mid-August by Judge Karen A. Drago. As part of a plea agreement, prosecutors dropped a weapons charge Waters was also facing.

“It was pretty much an assassination,” Schenectady County District Attorney Robert Carney said after the plea. “He just killed him.”

Darlene Scott, the victim’s mother, was present in court and afterward she thanked police for their work in solving her son’s murder.

Carney said the shooting followed a confrontation between Scott and Waters, who has gang ties in the city. He said Waters was apparently chasing Scott’s cousin when Scott intervened to protect the boy, who was suspected of gang involvement himself.

“There were gang overtones to this,” Carney said.

Though he initially left Scott alone, Waters returned later in the week with a gun. After a brief argument in front of Scott’s apartment, Waters’ pulled the weapon and began to fire.

Waters was able to flee the scene before authorities arrived to find Scott collapsed at the end of a trail of blood. But authorities quickly identified him as a suspect and interviewed his girlfriend three days after the shooting.

Less than a month after Scott’s death, Waters was arrested at his girlfriend’s Bridge Street apartment after it was raided by city police and the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force. During the arrest police recovered a Mauser .380-caliber semi-automatic weapon and magazine, though that was not used in the shooting.

Police also arrested Waters’ girlfriend, Renee St. Clair, 25, who was charged with obstructing a homicide investigation and endangering the welfare of her two small children, one of whom Waters had fathered. Carney said St. Clair’s case was later disposed of in Schenectady City Court.

Police never did recover the weapon Waters used in the killing. At one point, prosecutors tried to link him to the case by trying to lift DNA evidence from the shell casings recovered from the crime scene.

But Carney said the shells tested negative for Waters’ DNA. Instead, prosecutors were aided by a group of witnesses who agreed to testify during a trial that had been scheduled to start next week.

Carney said there were indications Waters had mistaken Scott’s identity prior to the attack, and the shooting may have been retaliation for events unrelated to Scott. He said Waters had alluded to being shot at during the weeks leading up to the killing.

Carney described Scott as a hard-working man who had a clean record and held a regular job. For three years, Scott commuted by bus to his job at the Marriott on Wolf Road in Albany.

“He was a good, hard-working kid who didn’t deserve his fate,” he said.

Calls placed to Waters’ attorney, Mark Sacco of Schenectady, were not returned Tuesday.

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